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Help: Bidding

Who can bid?
Only registered FARSERV users and those capable of forming legally binding relations under applicable law can place a bid. Bidders must own a valid credit card including a U.S. or Canadian mailing address.

How do I bid?
Before placing your first bid, thoroughly review the auction description and any additional details included in the listing. Remember, it is incumbent upon the bidder to verify all information provided and conduct additional research before placing a bid.

  • When you are ready to place a bid, choose a bid type, enter your bid amount in the bid amount box and click on the bid button. You will be prompted to login (or register, if you haven’t already.)
  • Once you are logged in, if you’re a first time bidder you may be required to complete our bidder authorization process. FARSERV authorizes all new bidders, prior to bidding on any auction, through our bidder authorization process. This added step of security significantly decreases instances of Internet fraud on our site. The process is free, quick and secure and, if successful, your bid is placed immediately. Note: The credit card authorization process includes an authorization charge (sometimes referred to as a $1 authorization) when you enter your credit card into our system. This is a temporary authorization charge to confirm the credit card is valid. The authorization charge is removed from your account by your financial institution.
  • If your bid is accepted, your bid will automatically be processed and you will receive a bid confirmation message.
  • If the auction has a deposit requirement, follow the instructions for your preferred deposit method.


What is an Proxy Bid? 
Proxy Bid is the maximum bid you’re willing to bid on the auction. FARSERV will automatically increase your bid to maintain your high bid position or to meet the reserve price.

Examples of Proxy Bid:

A) If the auction has a minimum bid of $500 and you enter your maximum bid amount of $900, your bid will automatically be placed at $500. Your bid will automatically increase as other bidders participate, up to your $900 maximum bid amount.
B) If the auction has a Reserve Price of $20,000 (this amount is hidden from bidders) and you enter an Proxy Bid amount of $18,000, your bid will automatically be placed at $18,000. The Reserve Price has not been met so there will be no winning bidder unless additional bids are placed.
C) If the auction has a Reserve Price of $20,000 (this amount is hidden from bidders) and you enter an Proxy Bid maximum of $21,000, your bid will automatically be placed at the Reserve Price of $20,000. If another bidder jumps in, your bid will automatically increase until you meet your $21,000 maximum bid.


What is a Hard Bid? 
Hard Bid is a one-time bid for the amount you indicate. Unlike a Proxy Bid, which automatically increases your bid amount to maintain your high-bid position, when a Hard bid is placed — you will have to manually place another bid to maintain your high-bid position.


What is BuyNow?
A BuyNow auction means you can bid on the item one of two ways:

  1. If you are willing to offer the BuyNow price before the first bid comes in, you win the item immediately and the auction ends.
  2. If you place a bid first instead of offering the BuyNow price, the BuyNow option disappears. Then the auction proceeds as a regular online auction.

BuyNow auctions are identified with an icon.

What is a Reserve?
A reserve price is the minimum dollar amount a seller is willing to accept for an item. This amount is not disclosed, but bidders are notified (“reserve met” message appears on the auction listing) once the reserve price has been met.


Why is the reserve price not disclosed?
The seller has set the hidden reserve price to protect his or her financial interests. It is the price at which the seller is obligated to sell.


What is a Bid Increment?
A bid increment is the minimum amount you can bid above the current bid price. A bidder can place a bid amount that is equal to or greater than the bid increment, just not less than the bid increment.


Can I place a bid for less than the Minimum Bid amount?
No. The Minimum Bid is set by the seller and is the floor at which bidding begins.


Can I remove or cancel a bid?
No, a bid amount cannot be removed or canceled from an auction once it is placed. A bid is a binding contract between buyer and seller; an irrevocable offer to purchase an item from the seller at the stated bid price.

Buyers are required to conduct any research or due diligence of an asset prior to placing a bid. If you have made a typographical error in your Proxy Bid amount (i.e. intended to place an Auto Bid of $100 but accidentally typed $1000), you must contact our customer service department immediately to report the error. FARSERV will review each situation separately and use its discretion as to honoring the request.


Can I change my bid?
It depends on how you placed your bid.

  • If you placed a Proxy Bid, you may raise or lower your bid amount by entering the new bid amount in the bid box and clicking on bid.
    Note: You can lower your bid amount only one bid increment above the current bid amount.
  • If you placed a Flat Bid, you cannot lower, removed or cancel the bid.


Can I increase my bid if I am the high bidder?
Yes. If you are the current high bidder, you can increase your bid amount. Enter your bid in the bid box to submit a higher bid amount. If you have a maximum Proxy Bid amount that you would like to increase, type the new bid amount in the bid box and click on the button.


What is a deposit?
Some of the government auctions conducted by FARSERV require interested bidders to submit a deposit — specified by the seller — prior to placing a bid on an auction. Following the auction, the Seller will receive the deposit from the winning bidder as a purchase deposit payment for the asset. If a winning bidder, for whatever reason, does not perform on the auction, their deposit will be forfeited to the seller and their FARSERV account will be suspended.

What is an Overtime period/What is Overtime Bidding?
Similar to when an auctioneer continues to take bids until the last bidder bids, FARSERV's overtime bidding keeps an auction open for bidding until there are no further bids for 5 consecutive minutes. Overtime bidding occurs automatically when a bid is placed within the last five (5) minutes of an auction. The auction will remain open until an entire overtime increment (5 minutes) has passed without any bidding.


What is a Buyer’s Premium?
Buyer’s Premium is a fee that sellers assess on the winning bid amount of an auction to cover costs associated with their auction. At FARSERV, it is very rare that our sellers will charge a buyer's premium.  In the rare event that it exists at FARSERV, the fee can not exceed 10% of the winning bid amount and is included in the total purchase price paid by the buyer to the seller. If assessed, the buyer’s premium percentage is indicated on the auction listing.


Ask The Seller - At the bottom of every listing there is a "Comments" section where you can ask the Seller a question, or view previous questions from other users.

When submitting a question to a Seller, the message gets sent directly to their email address on file. The Seller can respond by following the link in the email.

To ask the Seller a question:


  1. Log into your account.
  2. Go to the Item listing.
  3. Scroll down to the section marked "Comments."
  4. Click the text "Ask the seller a question." This will take you to a Contact User form.
  5. Enter your message.
  6. Click "Send" button.
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